BBL Cup: London Lions 100 London City Royals 99
- Credit: Archant
London Lions conquered previously unbeaten local rivals London City Royals in a tense encounter.
Roared on by the loudest home crowd at the Copper Box Arena for some time, Jorge Romero hit a running three-pointer for the final score of the game to bring up the century.
And in a game the home side had dominated for most of the first half, Vince Macaulay's men shrugged off the lack of significant inside presence to hit the Royals.
Brandon Peel and Justin Robinson produced their usual efforts, ably assisted by Romero, Dang-Akodo and a simmering Allen-Jordan, as a smooth Lions offence put players in position to score whilst Joe Ikhinmwin and Peel sought ways to hold off the Lavrinovic twins and the versatile Will Neighbour to build a 26-25 lead.
Tough defence by Dang-Akodo and Allen-Jordan on Royals' Matt Scott limited the influential American to just four first-half pints as the Lions went into the locker room seven points to the good at 53-46.
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The third quarter saw Lions struggle to contain the post play of Darius Lavrinovic, not so much from scoring but opening opportunities for team mates on the perimeter.
Orlan Jackman nailed a pair of threes as did Kyle Carey so that entering the fourth quarter it was a one-point Lions lead at 79-78.
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The fourth saw Royals hit back hard, with more from Jackman and a pair of Neighbour scores in a 10-0 run.
Lions chased hard to no avail and took rushed shots as the lead ballooned to 99-86 with 4.22 left on the clock.
The Royals would not trouble the scoreboard anymore, though, as an unsportsmanlike foul by Carey on Andre Lockhart saw the Lion hit from the free throw line.
Two Romero defensive rebounds led to Allen-Jordan scores, then as panic set in amongst the Royals, coach Lloyd Gardner was hit for a technical after several warnings before Scott grabbed Romero on a drive mid-court.
All of a sudden it was 99-95 as Romero's running floater dropped, then that man Allen-Jordan again came up with a huge block on a Scott three-point attempt, which led to Peel being fouled on the rebound and left it 99-97 with a minute left.
The noise was now deafening as the crowd roared and Robinson grabbed the defensive rebound off a Jackman attempt, drove hard and hit Romero running down the wings.
The Spaniard nailed the three and brought the roof down and a timeout to the Royals, 100-99.
Out of the time out, Royals found Lavrinovic under the basket, as he turned he was called for a charge, smacking Allen-Jordan in the face.
As the home team ran a play, Lockhart slipped and the ball bobbled out of bounds, but Scott missed his three.
With the last possession, Lions ran it through and as the ball came to Robinson, Scott stole it and as Royals charged up to try and win, out of nowhere, Lockhart stole the ball but ran it out of bounds with 1.5 seconds left.
Royals took their last time out and found Scott on the baseline as he turned he was smothered by sub, Jordan Jackson's six foot 10 inch frame and his attempt fell short as Lions defence stood strong to take the win.
Robinson's 23 points led the Lions, while Peel had 22 and 14 boards, as Jackman led the Royals with 24 points and Neighbour chipped in with 17.